State Dept. Issued Libya Travel Warning Two Weeks Before Attack
The U.S. State Dept. issued a travel warning telling Americans to avoid Libya two weeks before the deadly attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others. In addition, a recently updated threat assessment for Libya demonstrates the State Department was aware the security situation in Benghazi had become particularly dangerous for diplomats. Despite this, security at the US consulate appears to have been minimal during Ambassador Stevens’ visit.
The US State Department provides travel advisories for nations around the globe which indicate the level of danger in a given area. Its most recent warning about Libya was published August 27, 2012, just fifteen days prior to the 9/11 attacks. The warning reads in part:
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Libya. The incidence of violent crime, especially carjacking and robbery, has become a serious problem. In addition, political violence in the form of assassinations and vehicle bombs has increased in both Benghazi and Tripoli…In addition, political violence, including car bombings in Tripoli and assassinations of military officers and alleged former regime officials in Benghazi, has increased.